Destination brand and tourism business brands in Binh Thuan province, Vietnam
The consistency between a destination brand (DB) and tourism business brands (TBBs) has been acknowledged as pivotal in destination brand management (DBM). Recent research suggests that consistency should be a synergy of a DB and TBBs and that consistency could be guaranteed if stakeholders are fully involved through the whole process of the DB creation and development. However, research which goes beyond theoretical suggestions is lacking. To fill the research gap, this thesis seeks to address two related research aims: (1) To assess the consistency between the DB and TBBs in Binh Thuan province; (2) To examine the process of DB creation and development in Binh Thuan province, the involvement of tourism business stakeholders in this, and the influence of this process on consistency. In doing so, this thesis aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the consistency in relation to the nature of DB, the DBM, and the involvement/buy-in of tourism stakeholders. This thesis, drawing on the literature of DBs and the recent developments in DBM and stakeholders‟ buy-in, develops a conceptual framework and applies it in Binh Thuan (BT), Vietnam. The first phase examines the brand-related information projected in marketing materials of BT‟s DB and 87 TBBs. The consistency between the DB and the TBBs is assessed through the use of content analysis. To seek an explanation for the resulting patterns of consistency, 29 in-depth interviews of business managers who managed the TBBs, and two interviews with destination marketing organisations‟ (DMOs) representatives were coded into prominent themes using an analytical framework developed by the researcher. The study found that the consistency between the DB and TBBs varied according to businesses. Among the brand elements, selling points and target markets were the most consistent. However, the most competitive values reflected through slogans varied among TBBs. This study found that the DB is the outcome of a long-term process in which the destination core values play an important role for building the DB identity, underpinning all of the following components of the DB, influencing the integration of TBBs into the DB architecture, and TBBs‟ consistency with the DB. The study found that if stakeholders are fully involved in the whole process of DB creation and development, their brands are likely to be very consistent with the DB.